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What you’re worth isn’t necessarily what they’ll pay

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in Your Office Coach

Question: "I approached my boss about a pay increase after my one-year employment anniversary. He told me the company had a freeze on wages, but that something 'might be possible in a couple of months.' When I checked back three months later, he said the freeze was still on and used the poor economy as an excuse. I have a lot of traits that any business would want, and it’s not my fault the economy is in bad shape. Why should this company get my services at a price below my market value?"  Underpaid


Answer: Your “market value” is determined by what someone else will actually pay you. If you can get a better offer, your current employer might decide to match it. But if jobs in your field are in short supply, then you have little leverage to demand more money. 

With a company-wide pay freeze in place, management would need a really good reason to make an exception for you. Without strong justification, giving you a raise would simply look like favoritism. And continuing to ask for one will only make you appear self-centered.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lou November 26, 2012 at 12:28 pm

It does not make some one look selfcentered at all unless it is on a regular basis in wrong time frame. There is nothing wrong with honking one’s own horn; just don’t honk outside normative perameters. If you are doing exceptional work, point it out just prior to and during review periods…I mean, really point it out to outline your position moving forward. If you go on and are ignored beyond another 3 to 6 months, start looking for someone else to work for. It is clear by that time frame that they have a lower perception of your worth. Remember however, that you must be realistic about where the market is with respect to what you do…very realistic.


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